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MANAMA, Bahrain, March 20, 2009 – A U.S. Navy submarine and U.S. amphibious ship collided in the Strait of Hormuz early this morning, Navy officials reported today. The collision between the USS Hartford and USS New Orleans occurred at about 1 a.m. local time.

Fifteen sailors aboard the Hartford were slightly injured and returned to duty. No personnel aboard the New Orleans were injured.

Overall damage to both ships is being evaluated. The propulsion plant of the submarine was unaffected by this collision. A fuel tank ruptured on the New Orleans, which resulted in an oil spill of about 25,000 gallons of fuel. Both ships are currently operating under their own power.

The incident is under investigation.

Both the submarine and the ship are on regularly scheduled deployments to the U.S. Navy Central Command area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations.

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